Twitter rolls out age verification for “adult” brands

coors age verification

Mentioned by Techcrunch this week, Twitter and Buddy Media have partnered to develop an age verification tool that will allow brands to screen out users that are too young. For instance, the first time that a user under the age of twenty-one attempts to follow the Coors Light Twitter page, they will be send a direct message through Twitter with a link to an age verification page. Once the user enters the day, month and year of their birthday as well as agree to another privacy policy, they will be able to follow the brand if they are over the age limit. After the age is submitted, Twitter will be able to use that for future verification as well. In other words, the user won’t be promoted with the same age verification process over and over each time they want to follow an “adult” brand.

Buddy Media Age VerificationIf a Twitter user makes a mistake on the entry form and sets the year under the age limit, they won’t be able to correct the mistake right away. According to Twitter, the user is barred from altering their age for an “undisclosed amount of time.” According to Twitter’s head of product marking Guy Yalif, he stated “We are trusting users to input their valid birth date. We have no plans to self identify their valid birthdate or cross reference this with third-party data.”

Similar to age gates on video game trailers, there’s nothing stopping a user from lying about their age in order to follow a Twitter page meant for an adult audience. It’s unlikely that age gates are effective in detouring younger users, but brands like alcohol companies are covered legally since the user agrees to the privacy policy that stipulates the age entered into the age gate is completely accurate. This also doesn’t effect the existing followers of adult brands either. People that are already followers don’t have to go through the age verification process.

Facebook age limitsAlternatively, Facebook is more stringent with underage users as the site requires an age to be entered when setting up a profile. This allows Facebook to filter advertisements of adult products from begin displayed to minors. In addition, Facebook page admins can set an age restriction. Specific to alcohol companies, page admins can categorize the page as “alcohol-related” in order to weed out users according to the drinking age limits in each country. For instance, if a person over twenty-one was a fan of Heineken on Facebook, friends of that person that are under the drinking age won’t be able to see that relationship.

Buddy Media has been testing the new age verification tool with alcohol brands such as Brown Forman’s Jack Daniels and Jim Beam’s Skinny Girl as well as MillerCoors’ Coors Light and Miller Lite. However, the tool is now available to the public and other brands can use it to block access. In addition to alcohol companies, the pornography industry, gambling organizations and pharmaceutical companies could also start using the age verification tool to protect themselves legally while increasing their advertising budget on Twitter.

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Grow veggies indoors and shower more efficiently

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!

Confused about RSS? Don't be. Here's what it is and how to use it

What is an RSS feed, anyway? This traditional method of following online news is still plenty useful. Let's take a look at what RSS means, and what advantages it has in today's busy world.

The best new music this week: Robert Ellis, Golden Daze, and more

Looking for the best new music? Each week, we find the most compelling new releases just for you. This week: Brand-new music from Robert Ellis, Broken Social Scene, and Golden Daze.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix, from 'Haunting of Hill House’ to ‘Norsemen’

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Social Media

Periscope tool adds guests to feeds so streamers can become talk show hosts

Periscope users can now invite viewers to chime into the conversation with more than just the comment tool. By enabling the option to add guests, livestreamers can add guests to the conversation, in audio format only.

Crouching, climbing, and creeping, the perfect Instagram shot knows no bounds

Just how far will you go for the perfect Instagram? A recent survey shows just how willing Instagram users -- and Instagram husbands -- are to climb, lie down, embarrass themselves or let their food go cold for the perfect shot.
Social Media

Facebook’s long-promised ‘unsend’ feature arrives. Here’s how to use it

Send a message to the wrong person? Messenger now gives you 10 minutes to take it back. After an update beginning to roll out today, users can now retract messages if they act within the first 10 minutes after sending the message.
Social Media

YouTube boss admits even her own kids gave the ‘Rewind’ video a thumbs down

YouTube's 2018 Rewind video went down like a lead balloon at the end of last year, becoming the most disliked video in its history. And now YouTube's CEO has admitted that even her own kids thought it was pretty darn awful.
Social Media

Snapchat finally recovers from its redesign — so here comes an Android update

Snapchat's drop in users after launching a controversial redesign has finally stagnated. During the fourth quarter and 2018 earnings report, Snapchat shared that the company is rolling out an Android update designed to increase performance.
Social Media

Skype’s new ‘blur background’ feature could help keep you from blushing

Skype's latest feature for desktop lets you blur your background during video calls. The idea is that it keeps you as the focus instead of distracting others with whatever embarrassing things you might have on show behind you.
Social Media

Twitter users are declining but more people are seeing ads every day

Twitter's end-of-the-year report for 2018 is a mix of good and bad news. The good news is that more users are seeing adds daily, the metric the company will focus on moving forward. But the bad news is that monthly active users are…

Switch up your Reddit routine with these interesting, inspiring, and zany subs

So you've just joined the wonderful world of Reddit and want to explore it. With so many subreddits, however, navigating the "front page of the internet" can be daunting. Here are some of the best subreddits to get you started.

YouTube beats Apple, Netflix as the most trusted brand by millennials

The popular video sharing website YouTube climbed up in an annual Mblm study, moving up from third place in 2018 and coming ahead of both Apple and Netflix in final 2019 rankings. 
Social Media

LinkedIn finally gets around to launching its own live video tool

Live video is coming to LinkedIn for businesses and individuals on the site. The livestreaming feature is launching in beta in the U.S. before rolling out to the entire community.